Workers’ Compensation

Can you fight a workers’ compensation claim in Iowa?

Many workers’ compensation claims are denied in Iowa each year, so if you have been denied you are not alone. Claims are denied for a number of reasons. The employer may argue that the injury did not occur at work, the condition is not work-related, or that the damages the victim seeks are beyond what is acceptable.  But that does not mean you have to accept that decision. If you feel you have been unjustly denied benefits, you can fight a work comp claim in Iowa.  What should I do if my employer is denying my claim?  If denied workers’ compensation and fighting the denial, one needs proof of entitlement to benefits. Contact all witnesses to the event and get a hold of all relevant ... Read More »

Who You Can Sue for a Slip and Fall at Work

Workplace accidents are unfortunately common in the state of Iowa. According to statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 54,000 cases of workplace injuries and illnesses in Iowa in 2012 alone.  Of course, in a regular slip and fall accident, you may be eligible to file a claim against the owner of the property for the negligence to provide a safe environment. If you have sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident at work though, it is important you understand the actions you can take, and to contact a legal professional with any questions.  Injured Workers Can Recover Workers’ Compensation Benefits  If an individual suffers an accident while at work in Iowa, she may be eligible to receive compensation via a ... Read More »

Overview of the New Social Security COLA

Each year, people’s cost of living expenses increase in Des Moines and across the United States. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) keeps track of these cost of living increases. The Social Security Administration bases its Cost-Of-Living Adjustments (COLA) for disability benefits on the CPI. The CPI is basically an indication of how much it costs the average person to purchase goods and services.  The goods and services used to calculate CPI are representative of what most consumers purchase, for example:  groceries; mortgage or rent; and transportation costs.  It is important to note that for those that own homes, the number included in the cost analysis is what your house would rent for, rather than its resale value. This is because the CPI does not factor ... Read More »

5 Myths About Workers’ Compensation

Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation Act protects employees in the case that they are exposed to occupational disease (85A), occupational hearing loss (85B), or if they sustain injury (85) during the course of their employment. If you’ve been injured at work and believe you’re entitled to workers’ compensation, make sure you can separate myth from fact by reviewing these workers’ compensation myths before you take any action:  1. Workers’ Compensation Will Pay for Everything  While Iowa statute 85.27 requires workers’ compensation to pay for all medical care required to treat your injury, including transportation costs, workers’ compensation may not cover all damages incurred by your workplace injury. For example, disability benefits are calculated by the employee’s average gross weekly earnings and cannot exceed 80 percent of your ... Read More »

Iowa Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder bursitis is a painful and potentially debilitating condition most commonly caused by overuse. This condition commonly affects workers who perform repetitive activities, such as lifting heavy boxes.  You may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you can prove your shoulder bursitis is a result of your work duties or an on-the-job accident. Your workers’ comp claim should provide evidence to satisfy the requirements for the benefits requested. For instance, if you seek Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), you must be able to prove your shoulder injuries created a permanent impairment.  What is shoulder bursitis? The Symptoms and Impact of Shoulder Injuries  Shoulder bursitis is an inflammation or irritation of the bursa. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac located between the bones, muscles and ... Read More »

Sibley Company Fined After Employees Were Injured on the Job

Sibley-based Current Electric was fined in January for numerous safety violations (KTIV, Jan. 22, 2014). The fines came on the heels of a July 2013 flash explosion at the Timewell Drainage plant. Five Current Electric workers suffered injuries in the work accident and were sent to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.   Iowa Occupational Safety and Health (I-OSHA) – the state equivalent of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – conducted an investigation into the incident. I-OSHA levied a $6,000 fine against Current Electric for four serious violations. The infractions included workers not wearing required personal protective equipment and improper tagging of deactivated circuits.   What to Do When You Are Concerned About an Unsafe Work Environment  Workers’ compensation attorney Corey Walker is familiar with ... Read More »

Iowa Woman Sprayed with Fire Hose Denied Workers’ Comp

In January, Iowa Deputy Workers’ Compensation Commissioner William Grell denied an injured worker’s claim for permanent disability benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation program. (Des Moines Register, Jan. 30, 2014)  The worker, an employee of West Liberty Foods, filed a claim seeking permanent partial disability compensation in connection with a March 2010 incident at the turkey processing facility. The female employee was one of roughly 15 workers exposed to potentially hazardous fumes during an ammonia spill at the plant.  Because of the spill, the worker was forced to strip down in front of other individuals. She was then sprayed with a fire hose in what turned out to be an unnecessary decontamination process. The worker and other employees were transported to University of Iowa Hospitals ... Read More »

Workers’ Compensation Physician Reports in Iowa

Your doctor plays an integral role in your workers’ compensation case. Her professional opinions and diagnoses will greatly affect the benefits you recover. Your doctor will have a hand in determining when you can return to work and your degree of impairment, and even the presence of an injury, such as if you have a cumulative injury you believe is related to your job tasks.  As such, your physician will send reports to the insurance company regarding your injury status.  What forms must a physician submit?  There are plenty of forms that workers and employers must fill out when dealing with a workers’ compensation case. But workers’ compensation in Iowa does not have a standard form that physicians must use to report about a patient’s ... Read More »

Mediation of an Iowa Workers’ Compensation Case

When disputes arise among injured workers and workers’ compensation insurance companies, workers have the option to pursue mediation to resolve the dispute. Mediation can help workers reach a quicker resolution to their dispute. Talk to your attorney about whether your case is a good candidate for mediation.  The Mediation Process  Mediation is a different form of dispute resolution than arbitration hearings. Arbitration hearings are held with Deputy Commissioners (Administrative Law Judges, ALJ) or the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner (IWCC) who issues decisions. Mediators don’t rule on the merits of the cases they handle. They only attempt to get the parties involved in the case to reach an agreement that satisfies the dispute. Mediators usually have a private mediation practice and are paid for their services.  ... Read More »

Arbitration in Iowa Workers’ Compensation Cases

Workers may find themselves in disputes with an employer or workers’ compensation insurer during the workers’ comp process. In such cases, they may have to file a petition for arbitration to resolve the dispute with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner (IWCC).  Overview of Arbitration in the Iowa Workers’ Comp Process  When a worker first becomes aware of a dispute regarding the workers’ comp process, the first step is to speak with the employer and insurance company to try to work out an agreement. If an agreement between the parties cannot be reached, the worker can file a petition for arbitration with the IWCC.  The parties will exchange any evidence they have and may request interrogatories from each other – these are questions the other party ... Read More »

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